"And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!”

 

And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

- Iain Thomas

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Taking a Year In

October 23, 2015

 

Imagine taking a snowglobe and shaking the hell out of it.  Notice how all of the glitter and snowflake dust float around in complete chaos, making it impossible to see what’s underneath.  

 

I have been living in that snowglobe for the past two months.  Only now is the glitter settling, and what I’m finding is the picture that’s coming through is more beautiful and more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – let’s start with the shaking.

 

 

The Shaking

Within a span of six days we sold our house, I was laid off from my job, and I found out I'm pregnant with our 3rd child.  After going through all of our options of what the hell to do we decided that we would move in with Chris’ parents (rather than buying a new place), pull the girls’ out of daycare, and I would take the year off work to grow this baby and be a stay-at-home mom.  

 

In six days every part of my life I had associated with success was gone.  My career, my home… control over my reproductive system.  I was unemployed, knocked up, and moving into my in-laws basement.  

 

Talk about unlearning SuperMom!  Oh life…..sometimes you are an ironic bitch.

 

 

The Resistance (a note about consensus reality)

And while all of our decisions made logical sense, I spent several weeks feeling a huge amount of resistance to make the change.  It took me forever to finally let our daycare know we were going to pull the girls’ out and to stop scouring LinkedIn for the right job.  

 

Here’s the thing…….  I’m scared shitless of being a stay-at-home mom.  I’ve said for years that I’m a better mom because I work, and I’ve always regarded stay-at-home moms as saints because “I could never have the patience to do that”.  

 

In my mind there were really only two types of stay-at-home moms:

 

One on end, there are the Valedictorian Moms.  These are the moms who are on top of everything.  They volunteer tons of time at the school, they lead the PAC meetings, they know everybody, and they are genuinely happy that being a mom is their #1 priority.  They love being a mom – it’s the role they identify with the most.

 

Then on the other end, there’s Sweatpants Mom.  She gets annoyed with her kids really quickly for being such an inconvenience.  She seems to be constantly complaining, and has lost all sense of who she is.  She is lonely and lost.  

 

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m sure there are tons of stay-at-home moms who are happy, fulfilled and conscious.  Moms who really honor themselves as well as their kids.  Moms who are integrated and parenting from a place of wholeness.  What I’ve described for you is the picture I’ve built up in my mind based on what I’ve chosen to see in the world (consciously or unconsciously).  This was my consensus reality – if I become a stay at home mom I’m going to lose myself entirely, and I’ll either be crazy busy devoting my entire life to my kids or I’ll be lonely and depressed.   

 

Obviously, neither of those options work for me.  No wonder I was resisting it!

 

 

Cleaning Up

Thankfully I have created an incredible support network.  After a few great conversations, a bunch of messy cries, a Saturday with my soul guy, and a weekend with a dozen advanced coaches studying neuroscience and transformational coaching, I’m all cleaned up and back on track.

I welcomed and moved through all of my fear and started to get really curious.  What could it look like if I did this well?   How can I honor myself as well as my kids?  What’s here for me when everything else is gone?  What if this was the most incredible gift I’ve ever been given?   What life do I want to create for myself?  

 

As I was explaining all of this to my good friend Ann she said to me, “It doesn’t sound like you’re taking a year off.  It sounds like you’re taking a year in.”  

 

And that’s exactly what it is.  

 

 

The Year In

I was having lunch out the other day, and when the server brought me the bill she asked, “So, are you heading back to work now?”

 

“Nope.  I’m taking this year to work on a research project.”   

 

I’ve been practicing saying it out loud, and every time I do I can feel in my bones that this is what’s next for me.  At my heart I am a researcher, a writer and a teacher. 

 

I am going to spend this year answering the questions:

  • What does it look like to be a conscious, integrated, stay-at-home mom? 

  • What is the impact when we significantly shift our focus to our internal lives? 

What happens to us, our children, our families, and our communities when we take more time in?  

 

I suddenly have the one thing most moms would give their left arm for – time.  And in service of us all I promise to use it wisely.  

 

I’ve got tons of support lined up for myself.  Of course I have my husband Chris, who is ridiculously supportive of what I’m doing.  I signed up for this parenting course, and a course with my soul guy.  I wrote out the “Year In Plan” with a weekly schedule to satisfy my left brain, with tons of room for freedom to satisfy my right.  I’ve got my coach, my family, and my friends.

 

My whole being vibrates at the thought of what I’m going to uncover this year.   I have no idea what I’ll discover, what will come up, what will be easy and what will be incredibly difficult; and I am thrilled at the opportunity to experience all of it.  

 

 “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ― Pema Chödrön

 

 

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